SINGAPORE: Finishing touches are being put on the redeveloped Funan mall, which closed for a revamp three years ago in July 2016.
The nondescript beige building that used to stand at the junction of Coleman Street and North Bridge Road is now completely unrecognisable, with its copper-coloured exterior and perforated aluminium panels.
At 887,000 sq ft, the new six-storey mall is 85% larger than its Funan DigitaLife mall predecessor and boasts significantly more amenities and highlights.
Taking pride of place on the facade is the Kinetic Wall installation: 1,271 motorised light blades, mounted on a panel 13m high and 9m wide, move in a mesmerising dance to display the date and time.
When the occasion calls for it, the plastic blades can be programmed for themed or festive greetings.
TREE OF LIFE
Leaning into the “industrial chic” vibe, the mall features a 25-metre-tall steel structure in its atrium, extending from basement 2 to level 4.
Dubbed “Tree of Life”, the structure houses so-called “retail pods” that offer short-term leases to brands and entrepreneurs.
The “tree” also serves as the connector to other parts of the building that house the office blocks, serviced residences and access to the Urban Farm.
The structure is made of 250 tonnes of composite steel - equivalent to the weight of three mature rain trees, developer CapitaLand says.
INDOOR CYCLING PATH AND BICYCLE HUB
An indoor cycling path extends from a bicycle trail on North Bridge Road and runs through the mall, in a first for a commercial building in Singapore.
The 200m path runs across the first level to The Bicycle Hub at the back of the building, which has 166 bicycle bays, shower cabins, lockers, and a bicycle repair and pump station.
Sitting above the shops on the seventh floor, an 18,000 sq ft urban farm and garden thrives in the middle of Singapore's civic district, with more than 50 types of edible fruits and vegetables.
A part of the Food Garden is operated by Edible Garden City, which champions the grow-your-own-food movement in Singapore – meaning diners at Funan will be able to enjoy farm-to-table concept eating, as harvest from the urban farm will be supplied to restaurants in the building.
The pesticide-free produce includes herbs like lemon balm, lemon grass and mint; as well as ginger, chilli padi, turmeric, dragonfruit, passionfruit, lady’s finger and brinjal.
ROOF GARDEN, FUTSAL COURT AND CLIMBING WALL
Among the lifestyle offerings at Funan mall is a rooftop garden with panoramic views of the Marina Bay and central business district skylines. The 32,000 sq ft oasis is open to the public during the mall’s operating hours, and even has lounge chairs for those who want to stay for a while.
The mall also has a futsal court and an indoor climbing wall that stretches from basement 2 to level 2.
The S$560 million mixed development also boasts an indoor amphitheatre that seats 150 people.
After the sun goes down, the building flickers to life.
The mall is set to open in the second quarter of 2019, along with the retail and office components, while the serviced residences, lyf Funan, will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019.